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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.- Monster trucks, the Playboy X-treme team and a $556 million federal credit union? As odd as it may sound, the combination helped make nuVision Financial Federal Credit Union’s Xtreme Loans campaign kick-off an “extreme” success. With a recent name change in February, (the credit union was formerly known as McDonnell-Douglas West FCU) and a traditionally older member market base, nuVision Financial FCU wanted to appeal to a younger market and build its loan portfolio while redefining its whole image in keeping with the name change. “In our area is a large mall that is virtually vacant now. Reconstruction has begun to convert it to a social shopping attraction, so we viewed this as our first chance to introduce ourselves to the community and keep us the focal point since we are right here,” said nuVision Financial FCU Marketing Vice President Kerry Lewis. “This was just the right time to show that we are an exciting place to do business and we wanted to not only differentiate ourselves but also really become the cornerstone financial institution for the whole community.” Developed by Lewis and Los Angeles-based marketing agency Simon and Associates on a $75,000 budget, the Xtreme campaign was designed in two months around the “fun, exciting activities of younger markets.” According to Lewis, once the team agreed on theme of “crushing the competition” and plays on the word Xtreme, “everything just fell into place”. nuVision Financial FCU spread the word with 30,000 direct mail postcards, radio ads, branch displays, tent cards and fliers on site at the local Boeing company office and in the branch lobby. Employees wore polo shirts with the Xtreme loan logo. “All the collateral looked like the monster truck was jumping out of the display and it was a good focal point to build everything else around,” said Lewis. “The term Xtreme could be the most overused word today, but it was easy for us to pull in other groups. We wanted to create an event that no one in the community could miss.” nuVision Financial FCU then turned to The Viardo Agency to give its loan promotion a unique entertainment edge. “It was very exciting to work with a client that was so open-minded about what is usually approached as so routine,” said TVA President Phil Viardo. “After several brainstorming sessions we brought together an unusual group of vendors and attractions in order to maximize the experience for the community. So the Monster Trucks play on the pun of giving the competition a run for their money, the Playboy X-treme team represents great physical athletes, and to incorporate the charity aspect of the credit union we went with the Childrens’ Miracle Network families.” In addition, Street Trucks Magazine and local radio stations 97.1 KLSX and K-Earth 101 were on hand during the two-day event. Plan-it Interactive supplied giant inflatable games including the “Bungee Run”, “Giant Slide” and “The Orbitron”. The steady crowds of 75-100 people were welcomed to the event by the Line-X Obsession Monster Truck and treated to free energy drinks provided by Red Bull. Attendees also took their chances to win a Ford Ranger truck from Line-X and Street Trucks Magazine and a Yamaha Wave Runner. Other activities included an autograph signing by the Playboy X-treme team, radio station giveaways, and a chance to meet two Miracle Families from the CMN. NuVision Financial FCU will donate $5 from every loan generated during the promotion to CMN up to a maximum of $5,000. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Lewis. “We benefit from raising the awareness level, CMN benefits from the loans we book and our members not only receive a terrific loan from us but they are helping us donate to a worthwhile cause.” So just how did the credit union do as far as loans? “We calculated that we needed to make 132 car loans to pay for the event,” said Lewis. “With two months to go we’ve made a little over 200 car loans so far and to our big surprise we completed eight real estate applications from people who were just walking around the event and stopped at our booth which asked the simple question `Have you refinanced yet?” Another pleasant surprise for Lewis? How much fun the staff had and how excited they are about the next event. “Besides the awareness and loan campaign this also is a time to just let the employees just blow out and have a good time,” said Lewis. “We have really been pushing them since the name change so it was wonderful to see them getting involved and having fun with this promotion.” A follow-up one-day event is planned for the end of September and Lewis says it will tie much more into the community and businesses. [email protected]

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